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Image and video hosting by TinyPic Cast: Hannu-Pekka Bjorkman, Minna Haapkyla, Mikko Leppilampi, Kari Vaananen

Director: Juha Wuolijoki

Genre: Family/Christmas

Year: 2009

Rating: PG

Hundreds of years ago in Lapland, a little boy named Nikolas loses his family in an accident. The villagers decide to look after the orphaned boy together. Once a year - at Christmas - Nikolas moves to a new home. To show his gratitude, Nikolas decides to make toys for the children of the families as good-bye presents. Over the years, Nikolas's former adoptive families become many, and soon almost every house has presents on its doorstep on Christmas morning. At thirteen, Nikolas is sent to live and work with Iisakki, a grumpy old carpenter, who forbids Nikolas to continue making presents for Christmas. Gradually, however, Nikolas wins Iisakki's trust. Together they begin to look after the Christmas traditional that Nikolas has begun. When the aged Iisakki has to leave Nikolas and move away, the tradition of Christmas presents is once again at risk. Thankfully, Nikolas comes up with a solution that brings children joy every Christmas, even continuing to today.

There are many Christmas movies you can choose from this time of year dating way back to the present day, some are forgettable and others are unforgettable classics. "Christmas Story" falls under the latter, it tells the story of a little boy, Nikolas who loses his family in a tragic accident. The village is not sure what to do with him as they are all struggling to keep their own families fed but they come on with an idea that each family will take Nikolas in for one year starting on Christmas day. Nikolas makes toys for the children as a parting gifts before he moves in with the next family. As time goes on the village finds it harder and harder to keep Nikolas so he is sent to live with a not so nice carpenter named Iisakki who does not allow the little boy to do anything more than help build his furniture he makes to sell but as time goes by Iisakki and Nikolas begin to bond as if they were father and son and soon Nikolas begins to make toys again for the children in his village. The film is breath-taking to look at, the beautiful scenery and locations are a real treat. The musical score also does a terrific job in capturing the mood. The film was made in Finland but it contains an English dubbed track for the U.S. DVD release. Among all the seasonal titles out there this one stands out for so many reasons. The cast is terrific, each actor really brought their characters to life and as stated before the film is a pleasure to look at. Also the film's back story on just how this boy grew up to be Santa Clause is original and it is a tale that will make you believe as well as make you think about your own life and how you not only want to be treated but how you treat others. The way Nikolas remembers his sister every year is as touching as it is sad. I am not sure why it took two years for this amazing piece of cinema to reach our shores but now that it is here I predict it will quickly find a home in everyone's DVD player as a result of strong word of mouth. Christmas Story is a film for kids of all ages, we all have that inner child and this is one film that is sure to bring it out. Easily one of the best holiday films to come along in some time. If there's one DVD you have to own this Christmas then this is the one.

Lightning Media / Anchor Bay Entertainment

***** Out Of *****